GLORY TO MOTHER SUMITRA!
“In this world, only that woman is fit to be called a mother whose son is the devotee of Rama, otherwise it would have been better if she were incapable of giving birth to a son”- mata Sumitra(in Sri Ramacharitmanasa, Ayodhya Kanda)
The foremost responsibility of a mother is to place her child in a proper KC environment by which he/she becomes pure devotee of the Lord. Mother is said to be the first guru in life. She is the first teacher of the child. To become a perfect teacher and a perfect Krishna conscious mother one must learn teachings of Mother Sumitra. Sumitra was the third queen of king Dashrath and a mother of great KC children- Lakshamana and Shatrughna.
For a fallen soul like me, writing about such a great devotee mother will be an offence. But, still I can’t stop myself because my heart will be purified by remembering her virtues. If a woman wants to bring a KC child in this world she should read and keep in heart the dialogue between Mother Sumitra and Lakshmana which is given in “Sri Ramacharitmanasa.”
When Lakshmana got the news that Sri Rama has to spend 14years in exile he started up in confusion and ran with a doleful face. Trembling all over with his hair standing on end and eyes full of tears he clasped Sri Rama’s feet much excited with emotion. When Sri Rama asked him to stay at home and serve his mother and father, overwhekmed with emotion Lakshamana couldn’t answer, but clasped his brother’s feet in anguish,”My lord, I am your slave and you are my master; if you abandon me, what help!”
He further said-“I know no preceptor nor father nor mother; I tell you sincerely; believe me, my lord. Whatever ties of affection, love and confidence exist in the world as declared by Vedas-for me they are all centred in you and you alone, my lord. Please take me with you”
Hearing these soft and polite words, the ocean of mercy- lord Rama said- “Go and ask leave of your mother.”
Now comes the dialog between a KC mother and her child-
Lakshmana rejoiced to hear these words from Rama. He went up to his mother delighted at heart as a blind man who had regained his lost vision. Approaching her he bowed his head at her feet and when he related at length the whole incident, mata Sumitra was shocked to hear this cruel report. Lakshmana, therefore, felt nervous and hesitated in asking leave of her; for he thought within himself, “Good God, will she allow me to accompany Sri Rama or not?”
But this brave devotee mother said- “My dear son, Sita is your mother while Rama, who loves you in everyway, is your father. Ayodhya is there where Rama dwells. If Sita and Rama are really proceeding to the woods, you have no business in Ayodhya. One’s preceptor, parents, brother, gods and master-all these should be tended as one’s own life. Rama, however, is dearer than life, the soul of our soul and the disinterested friend of all. Whosoever are worthy of adoration and most dear to us should be accounted as such only in so far as they are related to Rama. Bearing this in mind, accompany him to the forest and derive, my boy, the benefit of your existence in the world.”
“It is your great good fortune as well as mine, I solemnly declare, that your mind has sincerely taken up its abode in Rama’s feet.”
Will any mother speak in such a manner? She would have
argued, “As per the boon granted to Kaikeyi, only Rama is
supposed to go to the forest. You don’t need to go with Him.”
Any other mother would have stopped him from going to
the forest. But Sumitra, a noble mother, did not think on those lines. She had all the virtues of an ideal mother.
Furthermore, she said- “That woman alone can be said to have borne a male issue, whose son is a devotee of Rama. Otherwise she had better remain issueless; for she who deems herself fortunate in having a son hostile to Rama has yeaned in vain. It is due to your good fortune that Rama is proceeding to the forest; there is no other ground for doing so, my boy. The highest reward of all meritorious act is verily ths- to have spontaneous love for the feet of Sita and Rama. Never give way even in a dream to passion, anger, jealously, arrogance or infatuation. Giving up all sorts of morbid feelings serve them in thought, word and deed. You will be happy in everyway in the forest since you’ll have your father and mother in Rama and Sita. Take care, my son, that Rama may be put to no trouble in the woods; that is my admonition to you.”
Her words that-“ In this world, only that woman is fit to be called a mother whose son is the devotee of Raghunath, otherwise it would have been better if she were incapable of giving birth to a son.” are inspiration to all the mothers in this world. ‘Blessed was the mother' and 'blessed was the son'. Tulsidas, during the characterization of Sumitra has proved about the unbounded love and affection of Sumitra for Rama. Only such type of mother who is like Sumitra is worthy of being called a mother and a child having taken birth from the womb of such a mother is worthy of being called a son. Salutations to such a mother like Sumitra.